2021 Winter – Music Composition & Production in GarageBand


This course is designed for students interested in making music. They will learn to use a music-making app called GarageBand, a free “digital audio workstation” for iPhone and iPad.

Classes are structured to accommodate learning at varying levels of experience. In most sessions, students will participate in a discussion on compositional tools and techniques, such as rhythm, melody, chord, instrumentation, song structure, audio effects, and mixing. Following the discussion they will work on an in-class exercise pertaining to the discussion topic. Each exercise will have multiple levels of difficulty by which it can be completed, so there will always be an appropriate level of challenge whether the student is a beginner or advanced.

As the semester progresses, classes will shift focus toward students developing full songs of their own. Gradually, more time will be spent composing than discussion or specific exercises. The last few classes of the semester will be fully dedicated to student composition and production, where they will create their final pieces of music in the course. These pieces will be combined into a class album, which will then be put up on Soundcloud.

In the event of high enrollment, this course will be split into “novice” and “experienced” sections. The course structure will remain the same, though tailored for the section’s experience level.

Course Schedule:
In-class exercises range from beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels depending on skill level
Week 1: Introduction to iOS GarageBand (& using Apple Loops)
Week 2: Drums
Week 3: Bass
Week 4: Chords
Week 5: Melody
Week 6: Sampling/Recording Audio
Week 7: Song Form / Arrangement
Week 8: ~s p e c i a l e f f e c t s~
Week 9: Final Project Workshop #1
Week 10: Final Project Workshop #2
Week 11: Final Project Workshop #3
Week 12: Final Project Showcase, Exporting Files, and Farewell

Click here to listen to the students’ work samples.

Course Features

  • Grade G8-G12
  • Max Enroll 8
  • Class Time 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EST, Sundays (1/31 - 5/9, no class on 2/14, 3/28, 4/4)
  • Class Location Online
$240/12 Classes
Instructor Brennan Quinn is a producer, sound engineer, and private teacher located in the metro Detroit area. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he studied performing arts technology with focuses in music production and electronic composition. He has extensive experience using various digital audio workstations, writing with software instruments, as well as performing as a guitarist and vocalist. His original start in music making was on an early version of GarageBand, where he discovered a new passion and learned the foundational skills that led him to pursue audio production.